The Economist has an audio guide to Sydney for the business professional. Always interesting to hear how others view your own city. Monocle also had its own guide, but aimed at the luxury business traveller. In my own guide to Sydney, may favourite hang outs would be:
- Lord Nelson Brewery, unique beers, hosted a party there and stayed at the hotel.
- The Australian Heritage Hotel, usually play two-up there on ANZAC Day and with over 80 Aussie beers to choose from you cannot go wrong.
- Customs House, houses the City of Sydney Library, newspapers from every corner of the world, Cafe Sydney has great views of the harbour and some good bars on the courtyard below.
- Opera Bar, great views of the harbour and best thing to do on a sunny afternoon. They do have one of the best beer gardens in the world.
There are more, but these come to mind first. Feel free to make your own suggestions.
Turkey might find some degree comfort and agreement in the words of Katy Perry:
“‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up”
26 September 2009, leave a comment
, category: Personal
This week I will be attending the International Urban Planning Congress in Amsterdam. Titled Morgen/Tomorrow and with the motto “cities can save the world” the two-day congress will highlight the challenges and opportunities of rapid urbanisation. Six themes will be highlighted: food, energy, drinking water, infrastructure, waste and ICT with case studies from London, Paris, Hamburg, Mumbai, Chicago and Amsterdam. The speakers include the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and Member of the European Parliament, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, also known as Dany le Rouge.
Whilst looking at some job advertisements I came across the most bizarre equal opportunity and diversity form. Questions range from stating ones age, gender and sexuality. (Yes they want to know your sexuality!). Just love the weird and wacky options they have for ethnicity. Where do I fit in? “Other” perhaps? If asked I always write down “Australian”.
Apparently the Dutch interior minister, Ms Guujse ter Horst, has inhaled a bit too much something and wants to introduce breathalyser tests for pedestrians. This is in order to curb alcohol-related crime violence in popular night club areas. So if your average Dutchie, expat (or tourist) is found to be somewhat inebriated, what is a copper ought to do? Arrest them, take them to the cop shop till they sober up? Make them a greasy brekkie the next day?
The onus lies with the bar owner to refuse service when patrons are going over the limit. This is something not done in The Netherlands. They have not heard of RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol). As it is unlikely that morons will not take responsibility to stop drinking the venue must share a burden of that responsibility. There are better policy alternatives, wonder if the Dutch Government needs a new policy advisor?
About a month ago, a good mate of mine, Tim van Pelt, alerted me to Martin Sandbu’s piece in the Financial Times about Farouk al-Kasim. An Iraqi geologist who was instrumental in getting Norway to successfully exploit its new found resource and thus avoiding the ‘resource-curse’ of so many other nations. The real achievement of Norway, as the article states, was not finding oil but coping with its discovery.
A few months ago the BBC had a piece about 13-year-old Scott Campbell who traded in his Apple iPod for a Sony Walkman for a week. It is an interesting read. I love the part when he says, “It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape.” I never owned a Walkman, but I did use cassette tapes. Now I am hard pressed to know where my mix tapes are. But I guess I love old stuff.
In a follow up to my post on a call for simple language, Don Watson had this piece in The Sydney Morning Herald on a similar issue. Watson rallies against management-speak, which has transformed clear everyday language into “meaningless sludge.” He says, “Telling people requires language whose meaning is plain and unmistakable. Managerial language is never this, and being without roots or provenance there is no past from which to learn.”
An example he always uses is that ‘customers are in fact patients’ in a hospital. I agree, as are commuters who use public transport and students at school and so on. I recall at university during protests, the T-shirts with the words ‘I am a student, not a customer’. They had a point.
I was listening to an interesting piece from Radio Australia’s Correspondent’s Notebook programme. Our (that is the Australian) prime minister Kevin Rudd has had an essay rejected from the US journal Foreign Affairs. Apparently the reasoning is that the essay is dense, ponderous and has more than the usual cliché. The Interpreter has a good analysis on Rudd’s rejected essay with also an link to the unwanted piece.
This story reminds of Don Watson’s book Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language. It is about the numbing of the English language due to the encroachment of management-speak in the public sphere. There is even a website dedicated to collecting examples. Bruce Hill on Correspondent’s Notebook calls this credentialism,
“a secret language that only other people within an elite group understand, which excludes others. It’s actually a form of snobbery – it says “If you don’t understand me, it’s because I have special, secret knowledge and you don’t, so you should do what I say because I’m clearly much cleverer than you are”
He ends his commentary by saying,
“Democracy is all about ordinary people making decisions, and to do that they need to have the facts. If experts actually give people clear, comprehensible information, then democracy can work. But if you don’t insist on them doing that, then how can you know what is really happening?”